Hours ago he was with Adriana. She who flaunted elegance in her outlandish way. Accentuated with a floral fragrance he breathed in and held onto.
- - - - - -
“Can’t be,” she gasped.
“What is it?” he asked.
“I must try again.”
As evening progressed, curtains at an opened window fluttered with increased momentum. A Tiffany lamp suspended from the ceiling swayed between them.
Adriana twirled the crystal sphere before her with nicotine fingers. Placed it on the table. Was ready to extract its message.
“You are accident-prone,” she said.
“Yes, I am.”
“Did you have a recent mishap requiring medical attention?” she queried.
“No. Minor injuries.”
“There’s danger in your path,” she gasped. “Need to take precautions.”
A cuckoo clock stroke the new hour with figurines twirling in dance. A black cat on the sofa stretched and recoiled.
“I see a building. People screaming,” she relayed. “Flames bursting through walls.”
“Will I be okay?”
“Not clear. You must leave. Return to the safety of your home.”
Dinner spices infused the dimly-lit staircase Vincent descended from Adriana’s apartment. He reached the building’s exit door. Sighed relief when stepping out.
- - - - - -
Sleep returned, only to be shortened by the shrill of an alarm clock. Vincent sniffed the air. Smoke? Couldn’t be. His smoke detector would’ve sounded.
Following breakfast, he decided on a walk. Striding towards a neighbourhood park, he became increasingly aware of the air’s unusual odour. He changed direction, hastening towards Adriana’s district. He had to talk with her.
“Sorry, no entry. Overnight fire,” yelled a man in uniform as Vincent approached her building.
“Is the occupant of Apartment 203 okay?” asked Vincent.
“No known victims at this time.”
The man answered an incoming call. Turned to face Vincent when finished.
“Fire started by an unattended cigarette,” he stated. “There’s word of a possible casualty.”